Five more examples of how the coronavirus is changing the way things are done in Japan or shedding light on existing problems:

  • Campaigners say the most vulnerable in Japan have been hit hard, with statistics masking the high rate of underemployment and poorly paid temporary work, reports AFP-Jiji. “People who were already struggling were confronted with the coronavirus. They were on a tightrope and the rope just snapped,” says Kenji Seino, who heads the nonprofit relief group Tenohasi.
  • As Japan’s plans for a COVID-19 vaccine rollout take shape, the government is trying to dispel concerns over a planned system for the centralized management of personal information. The government initially planned to record all the data about who is vaccinated with what and where on registers managed by municipalities, but some local governments still use paper systems.
Pandemic reveals hidden poverty in wealthy Japan | AFP NEWS AGENCY
Pandemic reveals hidden poverty in wealthy Japan | AFP NEWS AGENCY
  • As the number of new COVID-19 cases in urban centers begins to drop, companies are now facing a new problem: what to do with employees who have tested positive for the virus and are looking to return to the office after having recovered. As Kaori Shoji reports in Japan Pulse, guidelines have been drawn up in a bid to stave off discrimination toward the returnees.
  • Junior high schools are rushing to tweak their entrance exams to ensure safety. Most such schools in Tokyo and Kanagawa, where exams will take place in February, have decided to require students to wear masks and have their temperatures checked. Some schools will also shorten exam times so that test-takers do not have to eat lunch between tests, and so tests can be more easily staggered.
  • The perennial influx of people into Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures slowed in 2020, apparently influenced by a high number of coronavirus cases in the capital and the ability to work remotely. While people moving into Tokyo still outnumbered those leaving, the influx was the smallest since such surveys began in 2014.